Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ain't No Party Like a Cookie Party, 'Cause a Cookie Party Don't Stop

 Here's just a sampling of the cookies I made for my own going away party. Yes, I throw my own going away party parties because that's how I roll. Turns out, I'm moving after all. Are you ready for me, Kalamazoo? Pictured above are the chocolate mint wafer cookies from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur. I like to omit the cocoa in the actual cookie dough because I think they are pretty rich, so I save the chocolate BOOM for the coating. I also add a little peppermint extract to the coating for an extra peppermint kiss.

The middle photo are said cookies nekkid. I also made them gluten free by using a half blend quinoa and spelt flour and 1.5 t of xanthan gum. Don't forget that xanny, because it keeps GF cookies from crumbling to bits. The result are a nice crisp cookie. I haven't perfected GF softies just yet.
And for my old standby: the cheater cho chip wonder. Duncan Hines cake mixes, not all but most are accidentally vegan. Just sub a flax seed egg for the traditional hen egg, 1/4 c. canola oil, and 2 cap full of soy milk. That gives you PERFECT dough. Roll dough into balls, flatten with the palm of your hand and plant them with chips of your choice. Kroger Private Selection Organic Chocolate Chips are vegan. I personally like a chip in each bite, so I like to plant them in by hand as opposed to adding 3/4 c. of chips only to have 1 cookie with 999 chips and the rest with two a piece.

At 350 for exactly 10 minutes will give you the perfect soft batch cookie. So if you're pressed for time, go ahead, throw together some semi-homemade goodness. Your friends will never know unless you tell them.

Friday, June 29, 2012

It's Been a Long Time, Been a Long time, Been a Long-Long...

Led Zeppelin plays in the radio in my head as I eat this sandwich from Roots on the Square, formerly known as Roots Vegetarian Restaurant. It's definitely been a while, probably a year since I've been there. When I'm there I usually get their panang curry because it really is the best in town. This day I opted for their breaded seitan tenderloin-(vegan take on a Hoosier classic!) and didn't regret it.

I haven't wanted to go there because they now carry local meat, which pisses me off. Prior to The Owlery, there was really one game in town to get exclusive vegetarian eats, and that was Roots. Then the Locavore movement had to waltz in and tout their excellent local beef and pork. Then it was all over. Boooo. What gives? I mean, good for you that you want to eat local meat, but it is still meat. I shouldn't be so bitchy, really. But I don't want to confuse anyone by saying that one is better than the other. To me, eating meat is eating meat. I'm grateful people want to elevate their consciousness and make a connection, but why not make the connection of not eating meat and trying this awesome fucking sandwich? This is probably one of those entries where you will read about these feelings, so enjoy the snarkism while it lasts. Otherwise, I'm a fairly peaceful and loving vegan.

But my co-worker treated me to lunch and I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. The sandwich is still really good. If you're in the area and have omnis to make  happy, bring them there. You can always have any one of their excellent vegetarian/vegan selections, and again--let me suggest the curry. Get it at about a 3.5 spice level. You won't regret it.

No move to MI, btw. Long story. Just stay tuned to some awesome eats and observations by the ever loving Pain in the Ass Vegan.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lettuce Be Stuffed, and What is a Texas Tank, Anyway?

 It's getting hotter n' balls outside again. And I don't want to cook. This dish ain't the prize at the picnic, but lemme tell you it's easy to put together. Just take your favorite pesto recipe, bathe some of your favorite seitan in it, and stuff large lettuce leaves with the mixture and throw some sun dried tomatoes in there for good measure. I had none on hand so I used Ms. Dash, garlic, basil, and sun dried tomato blend.
I went to MI last week for not one, but two job interviews and had to stop by my new fave place with vegan options, Studio Grill. I had me the Vegan Texas Tank burger. What's that? It's something that requires at least 4 napkins and will make you a little musical if you know what I mean. It's a black bean burger topped with vegan chili and hummus on a grilled bun. Serve that with sweet potato fries and you are good to go. Seriously, the taste was awesome, but I propelled myself throughout the day with the gas. Don't forget the root beer!

BTW, I did end up getting a job back in MI. So over the next week, my posts will be a little more sporadic due to getting ready for a big move back to my homeland of Kalamazoo*.

*-yes, that town exists and it is also on its way to vegan awesomeness.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tell 'Em What You Want, What You Really Really Want

One of my favorite local eateries is not a veggie/vegan spot at all. It's a diner called The Cozy Table, right off the highway at the 3rd St. exit. They serve comfort grub, with lots of meat, but that doesn't bother me no how.

I just order the veggie skillet without eggs or cheese and ask for a side of salsa. And I always ask to be put in Paula's section, because she is a waitress dynamo. Look at that gorgeous pile of taters. Filling and satisfying. In fact, most family restaurants carry the same menu, so don't be afraid to custom order some of these for yourself. If the place doesn't carry the skillet, then just ask for a double order of hash browns or home fries and add every vegetable they have available in the kitchen. One time I went to Ft. Wayne to Sara's Family Restaurant and they even put squash in there--wOOt!

So there--being vegan while traveling is really no big deal. With everyone having food allergies and sensitivities these days, you might even be able to convince your favorite joint into carrying soy milk just for you. Places want new and returning customers, so tell 'em what you want!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Butter Bean Chili

I'm a magician in the kitchen at work. As aforementioned, there's very little I can eat at Chez Omni, but because I know my shit and I love the show Chopped, I can easily make something out of a mystery basket of ingredients. Here's a precious little number I made on the fly, it's called Butterbean Chili. When you  make it, make sure you have the B-52's playing Butter Beans in the background.

You'll need
  • 1 can of butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 12 oz can of V-8 juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 T of balsamic vinegar dressing
  • 1 t Ms. Dash table blend
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 2 t Ms. Dash chipotle blend
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • dash of hot sauce
  • 1/2 t chili powder

Bring everything together to a rollin' boil, and simmer for about a half an hour. I served mine over mashed potatoes and with a side salad. I think this would be rad with the traditional corn bread and some vegan sour cream, or even over a bed of tortilla chips.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On The Road Salad

It's that time of year: salad season! This salad ain't the prettiest of the ball, but it sure is tasty. And guess what else? You can throw this together no matter where you are, so long as you have a grocery store near by. I work in a group home where meat is on the menu every single day, three times a day. I've found a way to make some sides vegan so I can eat at the table with everyone else. I called this On The Road to note the portability of this little number-(hey ho my traveling salespeople vegans!), but also for our On The Couch Alcoholic buddy, Jack Kerouac. 

On The Road Salad
  • 1 pkg salad mix-(get greener if you can. All we had was -ack- iceberg mix)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped to bits
  • 1 c. cauliflower, chopped to bits
  • 1 c. shredded carrots
  • 1 c. bread crumbs-(check those labels for milk and eggs!) I make my own.
  • 1/2 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 to 3/4 c. balsamic vinegar dressing

Mix everything together and enjoy. This doesn't store so well, so make sure to have seconds if you can. This is a nice salad to go with a meal of vegan bbq ribs and a baked potato.

And what about dessert? Well, this one isn't travel friendly unless you're crashing at one of them there hotel suites with a kitchenette. The crust from this recipe is from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stepaniak. I personally didn't like the crust recipe, so I'd recommend some other recipe. The filling is a snap!

Your choice of pie crust

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 4 kiwi fruits, peeled
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 T potato or corn starch
  • 1 T lemon juice

  • Sliced kiwis
  • Sliced strawberries

Puree filling in a blender and boil until thick. Fill pie shell with the filling, then set in the fridge for a few hours. Top with sliced fresh fruit and wow your friends. There will be leftover filling, and that makes a great topping for ice cream, especially strawberry!